In the early morning of the last days of the recent Lame Duck Session, legislators passed House Bill 3360, which allows for prejudgment interest to be charged in personal injury lawsuits. This legislation would gravely impact employers by requiring them to pay for years of interest costs accrued from lost wages, medical expenses and “non-economic damages” before a case is ever heard by a court.
The Chamber believes this legislation will have a chilling and very unfortunate effect on job creation and investment in our state and will impact a range of employers and industries — healthcare, travel, manufacturing, retail and more. In context to other states with similar laws, Illinois’ proposed law would provide interest for non-economic and punitive damages, in addition to the high interest rate, and would become the harshest and most expensive prejudgment interest bill in the country.
Additionally, notwithstanding the impact to the employer community at large, the impacts to our healthcare system are profound. For example, if signed into law, this could cost hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars a year and endanger safety net hospitals that care for minority communities. This would only further exacerbate the healthcare disparities and access to care, all while we continue to confront the worst public health crisis in generations. Additionally, these new costs could have a devastating impact on hospital operating budgets and result in layoffs for healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses.
We are strongly opposing this legislation and are calling on Governor Pritzker to veto this Bill. Read these recent articles in which our experts are highlighted:
Throughout the past year, the business community has worked diligently to help ensure we can survive and help the economy recover quickly. Whether it was providing life-saving care to patients, creating safe working and shopping conditions, or reworking business operations to incorporate social distancing regulations, the business community faced the challenge and made the accommodations. Now it’s time for the State to support business.
A strong business community will be needed as we recover from this pandemic and get people back to work. We urge the Governor to veto this legislation and incorporate the business community in future negotiations.